Lesson 5 : Za Zen and The Art of Relaxation
Tenzing flute play had taken me by surprise and so had his lesson for the day . We would take our morning walks together and he would take me from one end of the mountains to the other through mountains , passes , hills and forgotten monasteries . “ I had come here to see the great man the Lama , I had questions I wanted to ask him , I had tried to ask this to Satguru the sage of coimbatore , but I did not get a reply to my letter . But it seems you are wise enough to answer them .” I looked at Tenzing reassured in his wisdom .” So what is it you want to ask ?” He replied . “ Well should I ask for the death penalty for those who killed my father ?” That was. My question .” Will it help , will it heal you an eye for an eye is the law of the land , let justice take it’s course , either ways you cannot get what you lost , you must forgive , so you yourself can forget the past and now walk away from it for ever .” The wise monk answered with resolute confidence .His words were reassuring and made sense , how does it help my healing and it’s better to walk of from the past , let time and justice take it’s course .
“ It’s China it’s mainland population expanded so fast that we Tibetans got forced out and had to settle here in exile , but we still dream of returning to our land and then the Dalai Lama will be King again and regain his lost land .”
“ He is quite a character the holy man I saw video’s of him dancing with bishop Tutu in south africa , and of course you have Richard Gere his Bollywood disciple .” I had read about him and studied his sermons .” He is a charming man very saintly but he is a coward , why he ran away after the invasion , he should have stayed put in tibet and fought the Chinese till his last breath , now look at him , he lives in exile as a lost king .” Tenzing seems sad at the state of his grand master .” Then their is the second in line for the lama throne The Karmappa Lama he is another work of art , tall and brand he looks like a Chinese martial arts expert , he has also written a lot of books , holy man you see but e has his own set of followers and lives in the Gayto monastery on the other side .” He knew his history I though to myself .” This has been the land of the nomads a land for people who do not belong anywhere and. Have no home they can call their own , you guys are the lost people , time just passed you by .” I reminisced .
“ You know the great mountain of Kailash and the holy lake of Mansarovar is an auspicious place in the Bon tradition , Kailash was also the abode of the Bodhi dharma and to you Hindu’s it is where Shiva sits and mediates .” Tenzing explained the spiritual journey of Mansarovar .” I know I have been their to Lahsa and tIbet. Right upto the rock of Kailash , I even swam in the holy. Lake of Mansarovara , the great king Ravan also prayed near the lake and asked to be granted a wish from Shiva .” I was familiar with Kailash as I had gone for an expedition with Satguru to the holy place , revered by Hindu’s Buddhists , jain’s and believers of the Bon faith .
We stood gazing at the tall walls and the golden stupa’s which jutted out into the sky . Their where white done like structure , with wooden curved roof’s . This was the Runktek monastery very famous ,” You know monasteries have a long history about how they got made , in Srilanka their is a monetary that was made because one of buddha’s tooth fell on the. Land , so peel saw it as a auspicious place , everywhere in the world their are stories of some body part of the god’s , goddesses and holy men falling and suddenly a shrine a temple or a place of worship is built their .” Tenzing explained about the myths behind great shrines and monuments .” Well lets see Hazarat bal was built as a monk because a hair of the prophet. Feel their , Bhim Mal came into existence when Bheem hit the ground with his mighty mace , The water of the Brahmaputra river goes Red in summer as the mensural cycles of the Devi go on at that time , and it is said the the viajaina of the Goddess fell on the place where the temple is currently running .” I knew if I thought some more I could come up with many such examples .” In Bon we have no such thing we just throw the dead on the hills to be eaten by birds and wild dog’s .” Tenzing gave a wicked laugh. When he said this .
“ You read Zen do you know the practice of Za Zen , it is a way of life a teaching for a happy and joyful life . They say that if we start getting up 20 min before our usual time or natural today clock , we will be able to be still then and fell relaxed as we begin our day , Relaxing is a very important thing , not many know the art to relaxing , the whole world is running , you city. People are always busy , no time for anyone . Za Zen practices make you relax , Joyful and ease your mind .” Tenzing had begun his lesson for the day no doubt .” Relaxing happens when your mind is till , if you go into a Zen garden you will see it is built in such a away that your mind will relax , no tension nowhere to go , that is when you feel in the real here and now . Take a deep breathe and just keep inhaling and exhale all the while concentrating on your breathe , make it longer and deeper and then slow. And slow .” Tenzing was teaching me the finer points of how to feel relaxed through my breath .” You see you can ideate. , think ,analyse , evaluate , plan and make decisions. Only when you are. Still and relaxed , oct of the people are. Running around , multitasking all the time or trying to salvage one situation till they stumble on the next the whole day , they have no time to sit and. Contemplation , this is a very important life skill one must cultivate . To just sit and think and visualise .a moment when you drop out of the game and analyse things from a far . The quality of ideation and the stream of ides will improve rapidly . You will be more insightful and will make correct decisions according to the situations you confront .So you see my friend relaxing is a big life skill.= to learn in life , to have a long and meaningful life .”
“ So is that what todays lesson will be about Za Zen and the art of relaxing .” I laughed aloud with joy and Tenzing. Gave me a toothy grin . “ You see the very nature of existence is a mighty dance , it is not going anywhere or doing anything it is just dancing and the process of dancing is the reason for the dance , it is not starting from anywhere nor is it going to end , it is just their for you to see .” Tenzing tried two go into death of the matter .” The breath is life itself , when you breathe in and out that means you have life in you the jeev atma is still present otherwise you would be a cold corpse . In Hindu Veda’s they call it “ Om “that is the sound of your breath when you inhale and exhale you make that sound . Concentrate on that and you begin to focus on life itself and you live in the moment all anxiety and worries evaporate .” Za Zen teaches you all this , even things lie ow you place your shoes and sandals in your room tells a lot about your sate of mind Werther it is organised or cluttered . The Japanese think one should be organised in the way you keep your shoes and slippers .” For a while I lost concentration and started to look else where , at the momo’ stall their was a man selling posted corn on the side walks .” Come lets have a snack my friend , a tea break we continue the lesson late .” I pulled Tenzing by the arm and dragged him to the hawker . We had a piping hot plate of veg mom’s and one roasted corn each .” Well I guess that’s all you need as a monk guys like me take care of your meals .” I chided him as I paid Rs 50 to the walker for the delicious meal .” But look at my lessons that I impart to you it is because of that , it is not free even a Monk has to eat .” Tenzing got a bit agitated when he said this , no doubt that what he was teaching him was of immense value too .
My mad monk had been very vocal; today and no doubt his lesson of Relaxation and the techniques will stay with me for ever .